Field Day 1998

UHaM/AH7R Field Day 1998

The botanical park was definitely a rain forest this year. It poured rain all the time I was setting up the tent Friday. I stopped several times to dump water off the ground cloth. While I struggled with the new tent in the wind and rain, I was not aware that the doors were unzipped. I had to stop to dump water out of the tent before staking it down. Things never dried out.

Fortunately, I packed a swim suit. The inside of the tent no longer had standing water in it by Saturday morning. We got about a total of two hours of sunlight all weekend, the rest of the time it was overcast, and nearly always raining. By Saturday night the tent fabric was threatening to break down and start leaking, but everything held. There were a few gear glitched which could be attributed to the near 100% constant humidity.

My score is embarrassing. Bands were good and I could hear lots of signals. Unfortunately, there was some massive local noise source tearing things up for the first eight hours of the contest and irregularly after that, which made 20 meters impossible. Antennas worked great!

Saturday night 40 meters was working very well and 15 meters was hot during the day on Saturday. I was able to work some CW in spite of the large local noise level. It sounded like some maintenance yard near the park was using an heliarc welder or something similar.

I managed three RTTY contacts with the mainland plus a couple of SSB contacts. Going back to CW was like returning to civilization. My operating skill needs help, that is the main reason I did not score as many Q's Geckoas I wanted. CW stations I worked were great about repeats and slowing down a bit. At least I broke my own personal best record for number of mainland contacts per day while QRP camping. I had a total of 38 contacts and 300 points for Q's. I had 400 bonus points, so I failed to make my goal of more Q's points than bonus points, but I did do a lot better than last year.

I tried six meters several times on Saturday afternoon and heard nothing at all. Also the times I checked 10 meters it was also entirely dead even though 15 meters was nice and long at the time. I managed to load the long wire on 160 but did not hear anything the several times I checked there. Some nice signals on 80 meters at night, but I could not raise anyone with my five watts and low slung long wire antenna. Our big bands were 40, 20 and especially 15 meters both at my station and the QRO station down the road.

The new tent was a big hit with the local wild life. In the middle of the night a feral cat collided with one of my counterpoise wires and made quite a startling commotion.

When I pulled up one of the tent poles something like salt dropped out. It was an ant nest. They had moved up into the pole and I dumped out thousands of ants and ant eggs. I blew in the pole and a cloud of white eggs sprayed out the end. Termites attracted to the light swarmed in Saturday night in spite of taking pains to keep the screens zipped up. The Uco candle lanterns are terrific.

Also very large spiders, cane spiders, moved into the vestibule. A regular convention of at least six of them. Disturbed and scurrying about inside a small tent with you, they definitely are two feet across!! OK, maybe only half the size of your hand.


[Arachnid's law: The smallness of the confined space determines the perceived size of the spider.]

Besides the advantage of keeping the tent zipped up, main lessons learned are:

Field Day Log 1998:
AH7R Mike Burger
Ho'omalahia Botanical Park, Windward Oahu, Grid BL11cj.
Class 1B Battery


Saturday Zulu
K6TZ	3a	SB	1806	14.056	CW	1
W6ERE	6a	SJV	1842	14.025	CW	2
KN6OX	1a	SV	1849	14.047	CW	3
W6KB	4a	SF	1914	14.082	RTTY	4
Sunday Zulu
KH6KB	1d	PAC	0231	7.088	SSB	5
KH6OS	1a	PAC	0232	7.088	SSB	6
KH6WM	1d	PAC	0233	7.088	SSB	7
KH6BI	1d	PAC	0233	7.088	SSB	8
KH6EJ	1d	PAC	0235	7.088	SSB	9
K4JNY	1b	TN	0242	21.257	SSB	10
K0GQ	2a	MO	0245	21.233	SSB	11
W4ABZ	4e	GA	0247	21.244	SSB	12
W6TJ	3a	ORG	0305	21.307	SSB	13
KE9KD	1d	IL	0308	21.283	SSB	14
KH6OS	1a	PAC	0310	21.313	SSB	15
AB7E	1b	AZ	0414	14.043	CW	16
K7DAV	3a	UT	0434	14.045	CW	17
K8XX	6a	MI	0444	14.036	CW	18
W7EN	3e	ORG	0609	14.050	CW	19
KH2D	1d	PAC	0622	14.041	CW	20
K7ZL	2a	SV	0631	14.053	CW	21
KH6E	4a	PAC	0651	7.189	SSB	22
KH6OS	1a	PAC	0707	14.240	SSB	23
KH6OS	1a	PAC	0709	146.58	FM	24
K6BJ	5a	SCV	1133	7.237	SSB	25
K7OX	2a	AZ	1154	7.026	CW	26
W6HA	2a	LAX	1159	7.029	CW	27
N0LM	4d	CO	1211	7.040	CW	28
AB7E	1b	AZ	1227	7.047	CW	29
K5FD	2a	WTX	1239	7.044	CW	30
W6KB	4a	SF	1242	7.046	CW	31
W0GG	3a	CO	1250	7.062	CW	32
W6PIY	10a	SCV	1254	7.042	CW	33
W7JQ	3a	WWA	1259	7.033	CW	34
W7IDM	2a	AZ	1327	7.028	CW	35
W6JW	3a	LAX	1559	14.091	RTTY	36
N7GV	3a	AZ	1608	14.083	RTTY	37
KJ6FO	2a	ORG	1635	14.232	SSB	38

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08/99